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The Pope Is Wrong about Capitalism: Free Markets Are Best for the Less Fortunate
Townhall ^ | 12/02/2013 | Daniel J. Mitchell

Posted on 12/02/2013 7:41:24 AM PST by SeekAndFind

Forget the debate over whether Obama is a socialist.

Now we’re discussing whether Jesus is for big government. Or, to be more accurate, the Pope has started a debate about whether free markets are bad, particularly for the poor.

Samuel Gregg of the Acton Institute wrote about the underlying theological issues in an article for National Review, but I hope I also contributed to the secular aspect of the debate in this BBC interview.

Editor's Note: I'm Catholic... Conservative, Traditional Catholic. Mitchell's right; Pope wrong. This is not a matter of doctrine. We are all free to disagree with the Pope. In this instance he's just another dude with an opinion.

The first thing I said was the rather obvious point that there’s a lot more to life than accumulating wealth.

My most important point was that capitalism is the only successful model for creating broadly shared prosperity and I used examples from the Pope’s home region of Latin America to show that nations with more economic liberty are far more successful.

But I emphasized that supporters of freedom have a challenge because many people mistakenly associate capitalism with cronyism and bailouts for big business. In reality, free markets are a system based on voluntary exchange and private property, which means no special favors for any industry or company.

To bolster my point that economic growth is the best way to help the poor, I cited Hong Kong as a role model, both for creating growth and for enabling upward mobility.

My second most important point, which came near the end of the interview, was that genuine compassion is when you give away your own money, not when you vote for politicians who will use coercion to redistribute other people’s money. I should have used the opportunity to cite the data showing that Americans are far more compassionate – in the right sense – than their European counterparts.

I’m sure “Libertarian Jesus” would have agreed.

Now we need to get others to climb on the freedom bandwagon. I suspect that Pope will be more receptive to that message than politicians, though the Vatican sometimes has been very good on these issues and at times very disappointing.

P.S. I was worried I made up a word when I stated that I wanted to make a “theologic” point, but it’s actually in the dictionary, so I got lucky. But even if it turned out it wasn’t a word, it wouldn’t have been nearly as embarrassing as the time in the 1990s when I wanted to say “annals” and pronounced it “anals.”

P.P.S. Thomas Sowell has some insightful analysis on whether Obama is a socialist.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: capitalism; freemarkets; popefrancis
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Are you now the judge over Christ?

41 posted on 12/02/2013 9:13:30 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: expat_panama

** trickle-down theories**

Exactly what is mistranslated.

42 posted on 12/02/2013 9:15:22 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: SeekAndFind
Many have an issue. They feel they have to defend the Pope, even when he says something they think is wrong (note this is not about faith or morals, so they are under no obligation to find it infallible).

The most convenient take is to call it a bad translation, and run with it.

43 posted on 12/02/2013 9:17:28 AM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Pope Is Wrong about Capitalism: Flea Markets Are Best for the Less Fortunate

44 posted on 12/02/2013 9:22:23 AM PST by bunkerhill7 ("The Second Amendment has no limits on firepower"-NY State Senator Kathleen A. Marchione.")
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To: SeekAndFind

Free market Capitalism provides the greatest good for the greatest number, including Catholics.

45 posted on 12/02/2013 9:37:28 AM PST by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
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To: vette6387

And then there’s that - no excuse for being an ignorant socialist any must take full responsibility for advocating systems and actions that have failed miserably for the world’s poor. There’s the world we wish we were in and the world we are actually in. An old boss of mine once said “You gotta do well if you want to do Good” (meaning good deeds). Shooting down the producers sure isn’t going to help anything but concentrate power and control into the hands of a very few evil people, IMHO. The Vatican hopes to be the one that brings in the NWO/Global Govt.

46 posted on 12/02/2013 9:50:22 AM PST by Sioux-san
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To: Salvation


Take two aspirin and call me in the morning if it doesn’t improve.

47 posted on 12/02/2013 9:59:42 AM PST by ZULU (Impeach that Bastard Barrack Hussein Obama the Doctor Mengele of Medical Care)
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To: SeekAndFind
Pope Frank is a socialist who is softening the catholic church's stance on homosexuality and abortion. He's a wolf in sheep's clothing. But, catholics on FR are not concerned. He's the pope, so he's always right.

The pope could be caught sodomizing a choir boy and catholics would say he was taken out of context.

48 posted on 12/02/2013 10:00:47 AM PST by Dr. Thorne ("How long, O Lord, holy and true?" - Rev. 6:10)
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To: Sioux-san

“The Vatican hopes to be the one that brings in the NWO/Global Govt.”

Yeah, that’s the ticket, a global government run by the Pope! As far as “wealth redistribution” is concerned, the Pope and Obama are on the same page. Abortion, not so much!

49 posted on 12/02/2013 10:08:30 AM PST by vette6387
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To: SeekAndFind

Thanks! That translation is more encouraging than others I’ve seen. At least you can take that as traditional exhortation of Catholic businessmen to do the right thing.

50 posted on 12/02/2013 10:17:28 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: pepsionice
Yep. The current system may be called "capitalist", but it's degenerated into the cynical version of the "golden rule" (them that has the gold makes the rules). It's cronyism and corruption, with few traces of anything resembling a genuine free market.
51 posted on 12/02/2013 10:37:57 AM PST by kobald
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To: Salvation; edwinland
** trickle-down theories**   Exactly what is mistranslated.

The "mistranslated" part was from edwinland in post 39.

Imho most of us know far too well what they meant by "some people" who "defend trickle-down theories" that are "never been confirmed by the facts".  We have to put up with that tired old song and dance all the time on loony left wing forums.

It's a crock.

52 posted on 12/02/2013 10:43:45 AM PST by expat_panama
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To: expat_panama

To be clear, the major mistranslation is changing the term “by itself” to “inevitably”. This change eliminates a possible interpretation that the free market needs to be supplemented (presumably by institutions such as the Church) rather than replaced, to bring about equality and inclusion. I have no objection to that proposition.

My friend says that the original Spanish is literally “spill over”. I don’t think “trickle-down” is a mistranslation exactly, but the problem is that trickle-down is usually used by opponents of the free market, so it has a lot of cultural baggage which he may or may not have intended when he wrote the letter in Spanish.

53 posted on 12/02/2013 1:34:50 PM PST by edwinland
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To: edwinland
True, switching 'by itself' with 'inevitably' is a big change of meaning.  So having personally written and dealt official documents in Spanish and English I can understand the hurdles, that's why we usually pick one language to govern.  That's also why we can't say "trickle down" and "inevitably" are mistranslations if the show up in the governing text.  Additionally, if all languages have equal weight then they're all valid documents.

The overriding problem however is with the extreme left-wing straw man that accuses normal people of being anarchists for merely wanting reasonable control over the fruits of their labor.  It's unfair and uncalled for and it's path to Marxism.

54 posted on 12/03/2013 5:49:49 AM PST by expat_panama
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